UNHCR: Syrian, Iraqi and other asylum seekers on rise in West

GENEVA - Wars in Syria and Iraq, and instability in other hotspots are driving ever more people to seek asylum in wealthy nations, with requests on track to hit a 20-year high in 2014, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday.


Some 330,700 people sought refugee status in 44 industrialised countries in the first half of the year, an almost 24 per cent rise on the same period in 2013, it said.


If the trend continues, the number of new asylum claims could reach 700,000 in 2014, "the highest total for industrialized countries in 20 years and a level not seen since the 1990s conflict in former Yugoslavia," it said in a report.


First published: 09.26.14, 08:23